Homemade film turns into horror hit at box office

Also by Lauren Piercey

It’s like Ghost Hunters on steroids and for some reason way creepier. What started out as a homemade film has spread across the nation. After more than a million demands by movie enthusiasts Paranormal Activity is now being shown nationally.

Writer-director Oren Peli filmed the movie in his home during a seven-day sprint in 2006 with a crew of three, who included co-producers Toni Taylor, Peli’s then girlfriend, and Amir Zbeda, one of the filmmaker’s best friends.

Starring actors Katie Featherston and Micah Sloat as a young, middle class couple who move into what seems like a typical suburban “starter” tract house, they become increasingly disturbed by a presence that may or may not be demonic but is certainly active in the middle of the night, especially when they sleep.

Micah decides to set up a video camera in the couple’s bedroom while they are sleeping. What is captured on the video tape is disturbing. After seeking outside help, the couple is left alone to fight the demonic presence and the
disturbances only become more powerful.

He submitted Paranormal Activity to Screamfest, a boutique festival for homemade horror. The film quickly took notice among viewers and was later picked up by Paramount Pictures.

Peli wanted to make his audience afraid to do something that they do everyday.

“One of the things I wanted to do was create something that people could say defined horror for their generation,” Peli wrote on his Web site, “the way after Psycho people said they would never take another shower; after Jaws
and Open Water that they would never again swim in the ocean; and after Blair Witch that they would never again go camping in the woods. I figured, well, sleeping at home is something you can’t really avoid. So if I can make people scared of being at home, Paranormal Activity might do something.”

The film is a must-see for horror fans everywhere, even if they will be sleeping with a light on in their bedroom after viewing it.

Paranormal Activity is rated R for language.

Author: Mary Beth Kelton

I am a senior at UMHB and loving it! I am the features editor for The Bells and I also intern at the Temple Chamber of Commerce. I transferred to UMHB fall 2008 and God has done so many amazing things with my life. I am excited to graduate in May but more excited about the next two semesters and the memories that I will gain. I plan to continue my education by obtaining a masters degree in sociology after graduation unless I am somehow blessed with a job.

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